What student loan pause extension means for borrowers

Maryland

WASHINGTON (WDVM) — Right before the new year, President Biden granted his third extension of student loan relief through May 1st, as the nation experiences a surge in COVID-19 cases. 

While many people may actually need this extra money that would have gone towards their monthly payments, experts suggest if you can to make voluntary payments to end your debt faster.

“It’ll look a little bit different for certain borrowers, said Andrew Pentis, student loan counselor and debt expert at student loan hero. “For you, it might be enrolling in an income-driven repayment plan that caps your monthly dues at a percentage of your income. Or it could be enrolling or applying for a deferment or forbearance that would continue to pause payments past May 1st.”

This student loan moratorium’s extension through May 1st impacts millions of student loan borrowers, such as Denaya Holland who graduated from American University with her law degree in May 2020.

“Even with this May extension, it is definitely a big relief for a lot of people, but we’re still battling the same issues from 2020 that got us in relief in the first place,” said Holland.

Holland has been putting money to the side to plan for repayment as Pentis suggests. But she like many others are hoping the moratorium is extended to give people more time as we recover from the pandemic. Unfortunately, Pentis says another extension is unlikely.

“This latest announcement, the Biden administration did not include that work final,” said Pentis. “So what that tells us is that yes, anything’s possible, particularly in the context of inflation and the omicron variant. It’s entirely possible that the administration could decide to extend this moratorium yet again, past May. Do i think it’s likely? No.”

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